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st: update of -metareg- available on SSC

From   Roger Harbord <>
To   Statalist <>
Subject   st: update of -metareg- available on SSC
Date   Thu, 03 Feb 2005 18:31:36 -0000

An update of the -metareg- package for Stata is available for download from the SSC archive, thanks to archive maintainer Kit Baum. To describe and install the package, type -ssc describe metareg- from Web-aware Stata. Previous users of -metareg- should type -ssc install metareg, replace- .

The main changes to the previous version are:

(1) The package now includes a dialog box written by Tom Steichen. This is most simply accessed by clicking the link at the top of the help-file or typing -db metareg- after installation.

(2) The default is now to use the modification to the variance of the estimated coefficients suggested by Knapp & Hartung (2003), accompanied by the use of a t-distribution when calculating p-values and confidence intervals (unless option permute() is specified.) This is more conservative than the conventional variance estimate and z-test, which can still be obtained by specifying the -z- option.

(3) The command should now work in Stata 7 (although the dialog box requires Stata 8, clearly). However I haven't had an opportunity to test it using Stata 7 so would welcome feedback from Stata 7 users.

For further information on the methods implemented in -metareg- ,including permutation tests and a summary and evaluation of (2), see:
Higgins JPT, Thompson SG (2004). Controlling the risk of spurious findings
from meta-regression. Statistics in Medicine 23:1663-1682.

For full details of (2) see:
Knapp G, Hartung J. 2003. Improved tests for a random effects meta-regression with a single covariate. Statistics in Medicine 22: 2693-2710.

My thanks to Tom Steichen for completely rewriting his previous -metareg- dialog box, Nick Cox for writing -matvsort- which is called by -metareg- (and is installed automatically along with -metareg- if not previously installed) and once again to Stephen Sharp for giving his permission to revise his original -metareg- program (version 1.06 published January 1998 in STB-42 as package sbe23) and to issue the new version under the same name.

Roger Harbord
Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol

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